Technology has been one of the edges that German luxury carmakers hold over their non-German rivals. But with competing companies like Tesla Motors, Apple and Google on the surge, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz will take part in the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 6-9, 2015 to show the world that they are still the pioneer in autonomous driving and car connectivity technology.
Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the event while its premium unit Mercedes plans to unveil a research car that highlights its latest autonomous driving technology. On the other hand, BMW will show off a feature that enables car parking in multi-level parking garages sans the driver in.
Meanwhile Audi will unveil the complete interior of the new Q7 including a detachable tablet that allows passengers to command secondary functions of the SUV.
German carmakers used to have the advantage in terms of design, performance and build quality, but with that reduced to nil, Mercedes, BMW and Audi are planning to make technology as their main selling point.
While infotainment, autonomous driving and consumer-based IT applications give German premium carmakers an edge over their rivals, they also pave way for new business opportunities like car sharing.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, during his keynote speech at the 2014 CES, remarked that as most innovations in auto engineering depend on electronics, it has become important for carmakers to take part in electronics shows, just as they participate in auto shows.